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Randy Woods

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Lean Medical Device Maker Named ‘Up and Coming Business’

Phase II Medical Manufacturing Inc., a single-use medical device maker based in Rochester, N.H., USA, was recently recognized as the “2010 Up and Coming Business of the Year” at the annual meeting of the New Hampshire Bio/Medical Council. In the last two years, Lean processes have helped the company reduce waste and energy while expanding…

Linking OpEx with Your Project Management Office

A quality leader at a financial institution is deploying an Operational Excellence program across his organization that already has a project management office (PMO) in place. Recently he asked iSixSigma’s Discussion Forum about the pros and cons of using a PMO to manage project selection. Readers responded with very pro-PMO advice about how these structures…

Calculating Call Center Interarrival and Service Times

Two Six Sigma professionals recently posed questions in the iSixSigma Discussion Forum relating to queuing theory in a call center. One reader wanted to know how to calculate average and standard deviation for service time and interarrival time – the amount of time between the arrival of one customer and the arrival of the next….

Lean Tools Help Reduce Costs at Safelite Windshield Plant

Aftermarket automobile windshield manufacturer Safelite Glass Corp. says it has retained sales of $2.6 million and saved $670,000 in costs since launching a Lean program. For this reason the company’s Enfield, N.C., USA, facility was recently recognized by the North Carolina government for contributing to the state’s economic benefit over the last five years.

Northrop Grumman MBB Reed Honored by Society of Women Engineers

Linda Reed, a Six Sigma Master Black Belt and senior engineer, was one of four Northrop Grumman Corp. employees honored recently at the annual conference of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE). Reed was given the Fellow Grade Member award in recognition of her continuous service to the advancement of women in the engineering profession.

Lean Six Sigma Efforts Highlighted at Lab Quality Confab

Many of the nation’s most innovative clinical laboratories, pathology groups and in-vitro diagnostics manufacturers came together recently at the Fourth Annual Lab Quality Confab in San Antonio to share their successes in the use of Lean Six Sigma and similar process improvement techniques.

Demand Rising for European Supply Chain Optimization

The acute focus in the European market is now on global supply chain optimization, said John Hannan, regional manager and partner for Tampa, Fla., USA-based USC Consulting Group. “If you think of the supply chain as a series of interconnected steps across which product, cash and information flow both ways, you can appreciate that at…

Bestnet Europe Trains Workers in Six Sigma for Kenyan Plant Expansion

Danish manufacturer Bestnet Europe Ltd. has announced the establishment of a new sewing and packing facility to produce mosquito netting in Mombasa, Kenya. Bestnet has already trained its management team and staff of about 50 workers in Six Sigma methodology and plans to triple the number of workers as it ramps up to full production…

Nordson Corp. Appoints DeVries as VP, Global Continuous Improvement

Nordson Corp., a manufacturer of adhesive and sealant dispensing equipment, has announced the appointment of James E. DeVries to the newly created enterprise-level position of vice president of global continuous improvement. DeVries will be tasked with driving profitable growth in all operating segments through the elevation of Nordson’s ongoing continuous improvement and margin enhancement efforts.

Determining Project and Program ROI

When organizations embark on a continuous improvement program, one of the first steps is to determine how they should measure the success of their projects and program. iSixSigma asked experienced Master Black Belts for their thoughts on the topic.

E-Z-Go Accelerates Six Sigma Buy-in Through Lean

Employed with Textron for 22 years, Stern entered the continuous improvement program in 2005 as a Black Belt and has since become a Master Black Belt. She currently oversees training in Textron’s CI program and leads value stream mapping improvement workshops. Here are Stern’s thoughts about the evolution of the company’s CI efforts and how…

iSixSigma Live! Social Lights Up Phoenix

Earlier this month, iSixSigma Live! held the second of its three scheduled Social and Networking Parties for the quality community this fall. For the nearly 40 Six Sigma professionals in attendance at this event in the Greater Phoenix area, the Social was a rare chance for practitioners to strengthen old ties, meet new contacts, chat…

Integrating Lean Six Sigma with Agile and Scrum

Scrum is an Agile project management methodology that can be used to control software and product development using iterative, incremental practices. Scrum generates the benefits of Agile development with the advantages of a simple implementation. This methodology can significantly increase productivity and reduce time to benefits while facilitating adaptive, empirical systems development.

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Bosch Rexroth Wins Silver Crescent Quality Award

Drive control and hydraulics firm Bosch Rexroth Corp., based in Fountain Inn, S.C., USA, received the Silver Crescent Award from the Silver Crescent Foundation and South Carolina Chamber of Commerce, in recognition of the company’s overall quality, workforce development, and community stewardship.

Australian Bank to Revamp IT with Lean Six Sigma

Australian financial services firm Westpac has launched a large-scale initiative to overhaul its information technology (IT) services, part of which will be accomplished through the application of Lean and Six Sigma techniques to reduce waste and remove unnecessary banking processes. The IT plan was announced during an Oct. 8 webcast briefing with Westpac investors. During…

Cintas Corp. Promotes MBB Wheeler to Senior VP, Global Supply Chain

Dave Wheeler has been promoted to senior vice president, global supply chain and corporate Six Sigma at Cintas Corp. in Mason, Ohio, USA. Wheeler will be responsible for all company-owned and contracted production facilities, procurement, distribution facilities, textile research, new product development, production planning and Six Sigma initiatives.

iSixSigma Live! Social Returns to Seattle

After a brief hiatus, the iSixSigma Live! Social & Networking Party returned last week, with the first event taking place in Seattle, welcoming nearly 70 Six Sigma professionals from the Puget Sound region. Held on the top floor of the popular Rock Bottom Brewery in Bellevue, Wash., the Social drew continuous improvement professionals from the…

Varkey, Mickelsen, Dankbar Win Minn. Quality Awards

A Minnesota-based quality group recently presented three people with the 2010 Shurson Awards, honoring commitment to quality principles. The winners, chosen by the Rochester Area Quality Council (RAQC), are Gene Dankbar and Dr. Prathibha Varkey of the Mayo Clinic, and Darryl Mickelson of Hormel Foods Corp.

What Role Does National Culture Play in Implementation?

On iSixSigma’s Discussion Forum, a poster working on a doctoral thesis asked about how various differences in national culture can affect Six Sigma implementation. Respondents provided several links to studies on the role of cultural differences among deployments in the United States and Europe. One reader added that the corporate culture is far more important…

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Comparing Financial Performance Among Business Units

Earlier this month, a member of the iSixSigma Discussion Forum asked about the best methods to measure financial performance among business units within the same company, but in different regions. The answers that came back ranged from simple bottom-line comparison using accounting department data to more complex metrics, such as profit per item sold and…

808 Renewable Energy Corp. Names Black Belt Lorthioir CEO

808 Renewable Energy Corp. has named Pascal Lorthioir as it s new Chief Executive Officer and Board of Directors Member. Lorthioir brings to the firm – which started in 2006 as 808 Investments, LLC – more than 20 years of professional, hands-on corporate experience in operations, management, research and development, mergers and acquisitions and international…

Lean Six Sigma Remains Strong in Manufacturing

A recently released study of compensation trends at manufacturing companies across the country contained some reassuring news for quality professionals: The deployment of Lean and Six Sigma methods remains strong in the manufacturing sector. Within the more than 1,000 pages of the 2010 Compensation Data Manufacturing survey on salaries and benefits, conducted by consulting firm…

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DFSS Drives Results for Financial Services Firms

Lean Six Sigma remains a popular and effective tool to improve efficiency in financial services operations. However, many financial institutions are finding that identifying and reducing incremental defect variability does not fully maximize the full spectrum of improvement opportunities. To achieve a larger return on investment, many organizations are turning to Design for Six Sigma…

Manufacturing Survey Finds Widespread Use of Lean Six Sigma, 5S, Kaizen

With manufacturers across the country looking to save costs in every place possible, it’s no wonder that Lean manufacturing and safety have become the cornerstone of financially responsible business practices. Saving thousands on inventory, resources and workers’ compensation claims, these programs have aided many companies in surviving the recession. The 2010 Compensation Data Manufacturing survey…